Advice on Choosing Backpacker Accommodation in Tonga
Only the most intrepid of backpackers make it to the islands of Tonga, the South Pacific’s only kingdom and a place for adventure, culture and nature. While keeping the costs low by staying in backpacker accommodation in the capital, Nuku’alofa, or the second-largest town, Neiafu, is simple enough, staying outside of these areas requires you to be a bit more creative with your accommodation choice. Find out more in this guide to choosing the right backpacker accommodation in Tonga for you.
Quick Things You Need to Know About Staying in Backpacker Accommodation in Tonga
- There are very limited “hostels” in Tonga. Dorm rooms are only available in Nuku’alofa and Neiafu
- If you’re looking for backpacker accommodation and can’t find a hostel, look for guesthouse accommodation instead
- Tonga’s budget accommodations are known for changing some of their services without updating listings online, in brochures, etc. With that in mind, be aware that some facilities, like air-conditioning, breakfast and WiFi, are not always available even if stated that the area
- Speaking of WiFi, if a guesthouse says it has WiFi, it usually means in the communal areas only.
What Type of Backpacker Accommodation is in Tonga?
Before we start comparing the backpacker accommodations, it’s important to understand what accommodations are available in Tonga for backpackers.
In Nuku’alofa, there are some accommodations directed at backpackers, such as The Village Backpackers, Backpackers Townhouse and Hafu’s House Backpackers. These are made up of dorm rooms, as well as some private rooms with communal facilities. However, dorm accommodation is sometimes available in guest houses in Tonga, such as Sela’s Guesthouse, Toni’s Guesthouse and the NOA Guesthouse in Nuku’alofa and the Port of Refuge Villas in Neiafu, Vava’u. Learn more about all of the mentioned accommodation in the 10 Best Backpacker Accommodation in Tonga A201
As these are just about the most ideal type of backpacker-style accommodations, if travelling elsewhere in Tonga, backpackers are better off looking at alternative guesthouses and budget fales. Learn more about other styles of budget accommodation in How to Pick the Best Budget Accommodation in Tonga for You.
Location, How to Get There and What is Nearby?
A major consideration for backpackers to Tonga is where accommodations are located. Tonga’s cheapest accommodation can always be found in the main towns of the country, such as Nuku’alofa, Pangai (‘Eua), Pangai (Ha’apai) and Neiafu. These locations also help keep the costs low due to the proximity of shops and services, where you can pick up supplies to make meals with the accommodation’s self-catering facilities. If you’re not travelling to all of the major island groups, then check out the following guides to help you make a decision on the island groups you’d like to visit:
- The Guide to Tongatapu on a Budget
- The Guide to ‘Eua on a Budget
- The Guide to Ha’apai on a Budget
- The Guide to Vava’u on a Budget
- The Complete Guide to The Niuas
How to Get to There
Once you’ve established the island group (or groups) you want to visit and you’re comparing backpacker accommodation, it’s a good idea to compare how to get to your chosen accommodation. Most accommodations in Tonga offer airport and wharf transfers. If not, taxis are available from the airport in Tongatapu and Vava’u. Check out Tonga Airports: Your Airport Transfer Options for more advice.
As established, all of the cheapest accommodations are in the main towns of each island group. However, if you won’t have a car while in Tonga, then it’s a good idea to check out what is within walking distance of your chosen accommodation. Especially for Nuku’alofa, some backpacker accommodations are quite a long walk from the city centre, which has both advantages and disadvantages.
What’s Included in Your Stay?
Inclusions at your backpacker accommodation can turn a good stay into a great one, as the little extras might just make your stay much easier and therefore, enjoyable. When comparing backpacker accommodation in Tonga, make sure you check what facilities are available, as well as what extra services are included.
Typical Facilities at Backpacker Accommodations
What facilities do backpacker-style accommodation in Tonga usually have? Here are some typical facilities:
- Communal kitchen or a canteen
- Car parking
- Shared bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet
- Insect screened windows or mosquito nets
Facilities and Services That Only Some Backpackers Have
- Free daily breakfast
- Cooked meals on request (extra fee)
- WiFi (either paid or included)
- Bicycle hire (either paid or included)
- Car rental (extra fee)
- Airport transfers (either paid or included)
- Washing machine
- Air conditioning
- Outside deck or verandah
- Hot water
- In-house tours or cultural activities for guests.